To preview the NCAA Tournament and IU’s bracket, Podcast on the Brink co-hosts Matt Dollinger and Justin Albers are joined once again by former Hoosier (and future bracketologist) Matt Roth, who breaks down IU’s odds of reaching Atlanta and tells us what it’s like to play in the tournament.
Among the topics discussed this week:
· IU’s draw and its biggest challenges in the East · Region-by-region breakdown of the tourney · How the tournament differs from other games · Final Four predictions and upsets to watch · Keys to a Final Four run and potential upsets
This is the first of two preview shows this week, so check back with Inside the Hall on Thursday for a breakdown of IU’s second-round matchup. As always, feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most prolific shooters in Hoosier history, Matt Roth, joins Podcast on the Brink this week to discuss his time at Indiana and what the current Hoosiers need to do to bounce back from their recent struggles.
Co-hosts Matt Dollinger and Justin Albers talk to Roth about his impressions from Tuesday’s game, which he attended, and how the Buckeyes were able to stifle the Hoosiers.
Among the other topics discussed:
· What giving a senior speech at Assembly Hall is like · Whether Roth thought he’d be on the ’12-13 Hoosiers · The evolution of Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo at Indiana · How Indiana can recover in time for postseason play · His shooting stroke and current basketball career
“Things went really well at Indiana and we had a great class come in of freshmen and they were probably banking on a few people to leave early or transfer and it just didn’t happen. It’s a unique situation and it just happens to be one that I’ve fallen in.”
On potentially playing for another school for one season:
“I know there’s a lot of opportunities out there, but it’s hard to leave what we built at IU and go play anywhere else. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that I would want to do. I want to always be a Hoosier.”
Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Matt Roth.
Final stats (34 games): 4.3 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 53.7% FG, 100.0% FT in 11.8 minutes per game.
Matt Roth was recruited by the previous coaching staff to fill a role. The belief was that Roth, a sharpshooter from Washington, Illinois, could stretch defenses with his ability to knock down perimeter shots.
That plan, however, didn’t come to fruition until Roth’s final season in Bloomington.
As a freshman, Roth, like his classmates, was thrust into major minutes from day one. He was effective at times — a 9-of-11 performance from behind the arc against Ohio State being a prime example — but only connected on 37.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. His sophomore season was cut short after he broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during a practice in Puerto Rico. And he never really got into the rotation as a junior after missing the first four games with a knee injury.
Entering his senior campaign, many wondered how Roth would be utilized. The continued improvement of Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, coupled with the arrival of Austin Etherington and Remy Abell, created a logjam of sorts in the Indiana backcourt.
But there’s always room for a shooter and Roth emerged as one of the surprises in Indiana’s turnaround season. His minutes rose from his junior season as did his effectiveness. With defenses keying on Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Oladipo, Sheehey and others, Roth was the beneficiary of many open looks and he capitalized.
The facial expressions were long in the Indiana locker room following the Hoosiers’ 79-71 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament.
IU expected to beat the Badgers for the first time since 2007 after winning their previous five games by an average of 16.2 points.
Disappointment was the natural way to react.
But buried underneath the emotion of the loss they’d experienced just minutes earlier were words of optimism from a team that’s a lock to be selected for the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s why we all came here. It’s why we all fought through the ups and downs,” Indiana guard Matt Roth said. “A lot of good things happened to us this year. We were able to face the adversity that came about and we really handled it well.”
The adversity Roth speaks of pops up over the course of the season in programs across the country. The difference in this turnaround season for Indiana is that the Hoosiers, as Roth said, have met the adversity each time and improved on the other side of it.
After losing five of seven games from Jan. 12 to Feb. 1, Indiana rattled off eight wins in its final ten games.
In the previous three seasons, losses snowballed in February and the Hoosiers met the finish line of their season in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament.
“Obviously three years of being in this locker room and the season’s over, it’s a different change,” Indiana forward Tom Pritchard said. “We’ve just gotta keep building on what we’re doing right, correct the mistakes and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”
The fact that we’re even talking about Indiana as a lock to make the tournament is a sign the program is ahead of schedule in its road back to national prominence.
Jordan Hulls, Matt Roth, Will Sheehey, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller met with the media following IU’s 79-71 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Watch and listen to postgame reaction in the embedded media players below: